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Diabetologia. 1990 Sep;33(9):569-72.

Human pancreatic islet cell specific 38 kilodalton autoantigen identified by cytomegalovirus-induced monoclonal islet cell autoantibody.

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Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Our previous finding that about 15% of newly diagnosed patients with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus had human cytomegalovirus genome in their lymphocytes and islet cell autoantibodies in their sera, suggests that autoimmune Type 1 diabetes is associated with persistent cytomegalovirus infection under certain circumstances. This investigation was initiated to see if cytomegalovirus can induce islet cell autoantibodies and if the autoantibodies react with any specific islet protein(s). Monoclonal antibodies were generated after immunizing Balb/c mice with human cytomegalovirus. When these monoclonal antibodies were tested for the presence of islet cell antibodies were tested for the presence of islet cell antibodies, one (MCMVA-51) of 13 monoclonal antibodies reacted strongly with the islets. The titer of islet cell antibodies was 1:2000. When this monoclonal antibody was reacted with the proteins from the solubilized fraction of human pancreatic islets using the western immunoblotting technique, a band with a molecular weight of 38 kilodalton was detected. The 38 kilodalton band was not observed when the monoclonal antibody was reacted with the proteins prepared from pancreatic islet tissues of rats and mice or from other human organs including stomach, liver, spleen and brain, indicating that the 38 kilodalton protein is human islet cell-specific. It is concluded that human cytomegalovirus can induce islet cell antibodies that react with a 38 kilodalton human islet cell protein and that this protein component may represent islet cell-specific target antigens associated with persistent cytomegalovirus infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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